Listing a property for sale by owner is one way of increasing what the owner receives from a sales transaction. Real estate agents often lay claim to 6% of the sale price, sometimes more, as a means of covering their commission. However, they do offer valuable services in return for the fee that they charge when listing a property.
For example, they help sellers properly fill out the necessary paperwork so that a transaction remains compliant with Oklahoma state laws. A real estate agent is able to inform someone of when they might make mistakes or oversights that could lead to the transaction falling apart or a claim against a seller in the future. A real estate attorney may also be able to provide guidance for those handling a closing on their own. Their advice related to disclosures, in particular, can have a major impact on the success of the transaction and how much of the proceeds the seller keeps.
Sellers have major obligations when listing real property
For most transactions, there is an expectation of due diligence that puts pressure on the buyer to investigate the situation thoroughly. Given the scope of a real estate transaction, it would be impossible for an individual buyer to completely protect themselves from intentional malfeasance on the part of a seller.
Therefore, the state has imposed statutory requirements of disclosure on all real estate transactions. Even when a seller lists a property in as-is condition, they still face a legal requirement to inform prospective buyers about any known issues with the property. A written disclosure outlining all known defects and also explaining the seller’s knowledge of the property’s condition in depth is a key requirement when selling real property in Oklahoma.
If a buyer can later establish that a seller did not disclose known problems with the property, they could take legal action against the seller. Without an agent who carries errors and omissions insurance coverage to protect sellers from such claims, they may end up ordered to pay with their own resources for the repairs needed at the property or the perceived difference in the property’s value because of the hidden defects.
Those selling real estate without an agent representing them can keep their costs low while also protecting themselves by partnering with a real estate lawyer. Working with an attorney to draft documents and to remain compliant with state law can be a more cost-effective solution than bringing in a real estate agent to list a property.